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Case Studies

Body Worn Antennas for Wireless Video Trials with Kent Police

Cobham Antenna Systems designed a lightweight, directional antenna (model DHDA-2.4V/1448) for integration within the Body Worn Video Wireless Solution developed by Reveal Media and Cobham Tactical Communications & Surveillance. The antenna and camera, with four live video feeds and GPS system, is mounted on the helmet, and data is transmitted to a central command centre. This system provides the Police with a real-time situation overview, plus front line and close-up images. There is the additional benefit of logging and recording live video for an alternative or complementary evidence gathering system.

First used by Avon & Somerset Police foot patrol and mounted officers at Glastonbury Festival, this time Kent Police carried out a full-scale public order training exercise with officers facing petrol bombs and other missiles.

Body worn camera technology

Kent Police tested the Body Worn Video Wireless Solution to determine whether the equipment would withstand the harsh, sometimes violent environment of front line patrol to establish the level of improvements the system would make to decision making and evidence gathering.

For the exercise, four digital links from helmet-mounted cameras beamed live video and GPS positions, direct to a command centre. Information on the level of hostility being faced would enable support to be deployed to the right place, at the right time. The cameras and antennas were fitted to the officers’ public order helmets and other related equipment was worn beneath body armour so that officers could be ‘hands-free’.

After the exercise, officers wearing the equipment advised that it did not affect their mobility. Kent Police reported that image quality was acceptable. Chief Inspector Bob Platt, programme manager on the force’s innovations board, reported that even when officers were running with shields there was little degradation on transmitted images. Transmission was reliable and Kent Police are planning to pursue the technology.

HOW THE TECHNOLOGY WORKS

Reveal Media and Cobham Tactical Communications & Surveillance developed the Wireless Body Worn Video System for viewing and managing multiple live feeds from body worn cameras, with the ability to handle large quantities of recorded evidence and other media.

Live video feeds are logged by Reveal Media’s M3 Multimedia Management software and evidence from solid state video recorders is managed by Reveal Media’s Camera Archive and Management System (CARMA).

CARMA has been purchased by the Police of Cleveland, Hampshire, Humberside, Kent, MET, Staffs and Surrey. Live GPS data is mapped onto Google Earth maps using the Mapper tool. GPS ensures an officer’s position can be constantly monitored so that, when combined with live camera feeds, a situation overview is created. Adrian Coombs of Avon and Somerset Constabulary said that command can see and hear everything happening at the scene, helping the officer in charge to direct resources; ‘it is like having an extra pair of eyes on the street’. The system will be useful for evidence gathering during public order situations, football matches and firearms incidents and it could be a deterrent to offenders and a reassurance to the public.

The antenna’s high specification and rugged construction ensures constant and reliable operation during the harshest of applications. The total weight of the antenna (model DHDA-2.4V/1448), cable and splitter is just 95 grams (3.3 ounces).

ABOUT Cobham Tactical Communications & Surveillance

Cobham Tactical Communications and Surveillance is a leading designer of wireless communication technologies with products used by law enforcement and military customers worldwide.

ABOUT REVEAL MEDIA

Reveal Media Ltd develops enterprise level solutions for managing multimedia. Innovation technology focuses on alleviating the growing burden of digitizing, storing and distributing media.